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Can A VPN Protect You From Hackers? | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Google has introduced a new feature in its Password Manager, allowing limited password sharing among family members according to Engadget. This means you can securely share passwords within your family group, making it easier to access shared accounts.

Initially announced in February 2024 during Safer Internet Day, the feature is now part of the May 2024 Google Play Services update. However, it’s important to note that password sharing is restricted to family groups, so you’ll need to create one and add members to benefit from it.

While Google’s Password Manager offers secure password sharing within family groups, a VPN may be worth considering for additional online security.

 

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What Are VPNs?

 

A VPN, or virtual private network, creates a secure digital tunnel between your device and a remote server. This tunnel encrypts your data and hides your IP address, ensuring your online activities remain private and secure.

Essentially, it acts as a shield for your internet traffic, protecting it from potential interception by your ISP, government, advertisers, or others on your network. By funneling your data through this encrypted tunnel, a VPN ensures that your online communications and browsing history are kept confidential.

VPN tunneling, the process of securing your connection with a VPN server, involves encapsulating your data packets in an outer layer of encryption, preventing unauthorised access. VPN servers operate by decrypting and encrypting data between your device and the destination website, effectively masking your IP address and ensuring your privacy online.

 

Can A VPN Protect You From Hackers?

 

VPNs offer numerous benefits, one of the most crucial being enhanced security against hackers. VPNs can also help you bypass geo-restrictions, allowing access to region-locked content and ensuring online privacy and anonymity. Whether you’re browsing the web, streaming content, or conducting online transactions, using a VPN can significantly mitigate the risk of falling victim to cyber attacks and ensure a safer online experience.

 

Protecting Your Privacy On Public Wi-Fi

 

Free Wi-Fi may seem convenient, but it poses significant security risks. Wi-Fi signals can be intercepted by hackers, who may use techniques like fake WAP attacks to steal your data or inject malware into your device. However, a VPN encrypts your data, making it unreadable to potential eavesdroppers and protecting your privacy on public networks.

Protecting Your Home Network

 

With the increasing number of internet-connected devices at home, such as smartphones, smart assistants, and even smart fridges, your home network becomes vulnerable to hackers. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in these devices to gain access to your personal data or even track your physical location.

By hiding your IP address, a VPN prevents hackers from targeting your devices and enhances the security of your home network.

 

Protection Against Common Hacker Attacks

 

A VPN offers protection against various types of hacker attacks, including malware infections, cookie theft, fake Wi-Fi hotspots, and man-in-the-middle attacks. By encrypting your data and masking your IP address, a VPN makes it difficult for hackers to intercept your online activities or launch attacks on your devices.

This added layer of security reduces the risk of falling victim to cyber threats while browsing the internet.

 

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Can a VPN Be Hacked?

 

Unfortunately, hackers can compromise your VPN. VPNs can be vulnerable to attacks due to flaws in the software or protocols they use. Hackers target outdated or poorly implemented protocols, exploiting vulnerabilities to gain unauthorised access.

While strong encryption is crucial for security, poorly implemented ciphers or shorter key lengths can be susceptible to cryptographic attacks. Skilled hackers may attempt to break encryption through advanced computing methods like brute force attacks.

Encryption keys are essential for securing data transmission. Hackers with access to these keys can decrypt VPN traffic. However, acquiring encryption keys is challenging and typically requires significant resources.

Gaining control of a VPN server grants hackers access to all traffic passing through it. Hackers may exploit vulnerabilities in server configurations or steal login credentials to compromise VPN servers. Additionally, governmental entities may seize VPN servers for surveillance purposes.

 

How To Prevent Hackers From Tampering With A VPN

 

Protecting a VPN from hackers really comes down to selecting the right one. When selecting a VPN service, it’s important to focus on security.

Look for VPN providers that use strong protocols like WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. These protocols have been thoroughly tested and are more resistant to hacking attempts. Prioritise VPNs that use AES-256 encryption, a highly secure standard trusted by banks and military institutions. This encryption ensures that your data remains safe, even against advanced hacking methods.

It’s also beneficial to choose VPNs with strict no-logs policies, which means they don’t monitor or store your online activities, enhancing your privacy. Consider the jurisdiction under which the VPN operates to ensure that government interference doesn’t compromise your connections.

Moreover, opt for VPNs with secure server configurations, including robust access controls, firewalls, and hardened operating systems. These measures minimise the risk of unauthorised access and make it difficult for hackers to compromise servers.

Look for VPNs that undergo independent audits by reputable firms, as these audits help identify and fix vulnerabilities, ensuring the VPN service’s integrity and security.

Lastly, choose VPNs equipped with a kill switch feature, which automatically shuts down your internet access if the VPN connection fails. This prevents your data from being exposed in case of VPN malfunctions, adding an extra layer of security.

 

 

What To Do If Your VPN Is Hacked

 

If you suspect your VPN has been compromised, follow these steps:

Disconnect Immediately: Disconnect from the VPN to prevent further exposure of your private data to potential threats.

Uninstall The VPN: Remove the hacked VPN app or software from your device to eliminate any backdoor access points for hackers.

Change Your Login Credentials: Assume all your login details have been compromised and change your passwords immediately. Use a trusted password manager to streamline this process.

Evaluate The Severity And Response: Assess the situation and determine how the VPN company responds to the breach, and if necessary seek expert opinions to determine whether the risks have been effectively reduced.

Switch To A More Secure VPN: Consider switching to a VPN known for strict security measures.

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